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  • Added 26 Jun 2012
  • Updated 15 Jun 2020


This database is a thematic classification of land cover and land use classes. The current version 3 contains 33 classes designed to be compatible with earlier versions. The polygon features contain a code and boundary representing the land cover type at each of three periods; summer 1996/97, summer 2001/02, and summer 2008/09. The data set was designed to be compatible in scale and accuracy with Land Information New Zealand’s 1:50,000 topographic database. The land cover database is intended to be used in areas such as state of environmental monitoring, forest and shrubland inventory, biodiversity assessment, trend analysis and infrastructure planning.

The list of classes used in land cover database v3.0 can be found in the document LCDB2-3 Correlation Table along with the mapping from the class set used in the previous version (land cover database 2). This document is available as an attachment to this dataset (see below), and on the land cover database project site (

The land cover database v3.0 was released in July 2012 and includes non-temporal edits to the summer 1996/97, summer 2001/02 time periods along with the new summer 2008/09 period. A change layer, “LCDB v3.0 change” ( is available to indicate both non-temporal and temporal changes made between land cover database 2 and land cover database v3.0, The non-temporal changes include errors in the earlier mappings, step artefact removal, and coastline adjustments. An “authority” attribute is also available in this layer indicating the source of the change for both non-temporal and temporal changes mapped.

Funding is from the Ministry for Science and Innovation under contract CO9X1101, which was contributed to by the Ministry for the Environment. The Department of Conservation and individual regional councils and territorial authorities have made significant in kind contributions by checking the draft mapping for their areas of interest.

The Chatham Islands, which were available as part of land cover database2 on a different map projection, have not been re-mapped as part of land cover database v3.0.


Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 New Zealand

You may use this work for commercial purposes.

You must attribute the creator in your own works.


1. LCDB 2-3 Correlation Table 126 KB pdf
2. SPOT5 Ortho Final Report (26 July 2009) 3.09 MB pdf
3. Illustrated Classes LCDB2 14.1 MB pdf
4. LCDB v3 Land Cover Legend 21.0 KB lyr
5. LCDB cover class change summary 41.5 KB xlsx


Tagswetlands, LCDB3, Transport infrastructure, Downloadable Data, Surface mines and dumps, Orchard vineyard and other perennial crops, Depleted grassland, River, Herbaceous freshwater vegetation, Permanent snow and ice, Vegetation, Indigenous forest, Short-rotation crop, High producing exotic grassland, Urban parkland/open space, Gorse and/or broom, Matagouri or grey scrub, Forest - harvested, Herbaceous saline vegetation, Broadleaved indigenous hardwoods, Exotic forest, Lake or pond, Landslide, Mixed exotic shrubland, Sub alpine shrubland, Estuarine open water, Low producing exotic grassland, Manuka and/or Kanuka, Flaxland, Built-up area, Gravel and rock, Alpine grassland/herbfield, Land Cover, Tall tussock grassland, Fernland, Sand and gravel, Deciduous hardwoods, Mangrove
RegionsNew Zealand
MetadataISO 19115/19139, Dublin Core

Technical Details

Layer ID 48304
Data type Vector polygon
Feature count 431666
Attributes WET_CONTEX, Onshore, Class_1996, Class_2001, Class_2008, Name_1996, Name_2001, Name_2008
Services Vector Query API, Web Feature Service (WFS), Catalog Service (CS-W), Atom Feed


Added26 Jun 2012
Revisions 5 - Browse all revisions
Current revision Imported on June 26, 2012 in NZGD2000 / New Zealand Transverse Mercator 2000. 807 geometries modified to be OGC compliant. Changelog.
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